Dabo Swinney is taking some heat from the national media for his comments to ESPN writer Chris Low Wednesday night regarding his decision not to give Kelly Bryant a national championship ring.
Swinney told Low it was nothing more other than Bryant was no longer a part of the team. He said it should not be construed any other way.
However, some in the national media are giving Swinney a hard time about his decision. Former Florida State quarterback and SiriusXM radio analyst Danny Kanell is one of them. Kanell called Swinney’s decision petty.
SEC Network analyst Paul Finebaum said, “It is difficult for Dabo Swinney to appear more petty and vindictive. This will come back to haunt him in recruiting.”
The Clemson Insider asked Swinney about Kanell’s, Finebaum’s and others comments regarding Bryant following Thursday’s practice.
“There is nothing else to comment on,” Swinney said. “I don’t know … What do you want me to say? He was not on the team. It is as simple as that. We played 11 games after he left. I think. We played 15 games. I mean there is nothing to say other than what I already said.
“I love Kelly. You have to be on the team. He certainly … he could have been here, but he wasn’t. That’s the way it is.”
Bryant of course left the Clemson program prior to the Tigers’ Week 5 game against Syracuse. He left the day after Swinney named Trevor Lawrence the starter for the game. Bryant, who transferred to Missouri and is expected to be the starter this season, started the first four games of the 2018 season for Clemson, but also shared snaps with Lawrence.
Bryant later told The Greenville News that Swinney’s decision to start Lawrence was a “slap in the face.”
The former Clemson quarterback still stays in touch with his Clemson teammates, but he has not spoken with Swinney since the day he left.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to visit and sit down and have a good conversation, but he’s focused on what he’s trying to do, and we wish him the best,” Swinney said to Low. “He’s a graduate of Clemson and always will be and was a heck of a player for us, but my job is to do what’s best for the team.”
Bryant told ESPN last month that he would accept a national championship ring if one was offered to him.